The Mess Inside A Writer’s Mind

I’m sat here writing on Tuesday evening, a mess of more or less unrelated ideas flying around my head.

I’ve been thinking about statistics – how numbers are absolute, but the meaning is flexible. I’ve been wondering how exactly a character gets a cult following. I’ve received a blank envelope recently, which I know is the result of an administrative error, but I’m unsure what type of error – and I’ve been wondering if there’s the potential for a story growing out of it.

I’ve had two different pieces of writing published by two different sites today, and I’ve currently got two more longish things half-written. On top of all that, I’ve only just realised in the last ten minutes that, with today being Tuesday and the last day of the month (two things I realised separately) that makes tomorrow the first Wednesday of the month, and therefore Insecure Writers’ Support Group Day.


I think that the mind of a writer has to be a melting pot of varied ideas, of different interests and influences, leading to the possibility of breathing new life into old ideas.

I’ve re-watched the first series of Game of Thrones recently, and I’ve been thinking about the role of religion, faith and zealotry in a world where magic is provably real. I think a writer has to interpret the things they enjoy as a ‘critical friend’, being willing to point out the flaws in a genre, try and build on the work that’s gone before, to stand on the shoulders of giants and see further.

After reading an article on Cracked about superhero films and the New Hollywood and blockbuster trends, I’ve thought about the corrosive effects of having people in charge of a creative industry who only dimly understand the craft. After re-watching the first Iron Man movie today, wondering whether the process of trimming neat, thin facial hair does something to real people in power that prevents them being reasonable. Maybe evil goatees actually have the power of evil, or at least a corrosive effect on humility?

I’m also now wondering what goats would look like in a universe of evil doppelgangers.

After the events in the weekend’s Brentford v Doncaster match and the fact that the Madrid Dortmund game tonight is more or less decided from the first leg, I’ve been thinking about how sport is a medium where the greatest drama doesn’t always play out on the highest stages.
I’ve thought about the fact that fiction has to work harder than real life to make improbable situations seem real, and that real life tends to get a pretty easy ride in that regard.

For instance, this thing exists in real life.
For instance, this thing exists in real life.

It’s important to draw inspiration from the world around us. It could be stories in the news, from people we know in real life, or from our hobbies.

I’m thinking about how difficult it is to know if the path we’re on is the right path, whether I’m walking an unconventional path, but the right path to where I want to go; or if I’m walking a path that’s not particularly smart for anyone to walk.
I write quite extensively about football (soccer) for a number of sites (FootballOpinion is the category for around half of my posts) but ultimately I want to write fiction.

I do feel though, that writing about events in the football world on a regular basis, my ability to write clear and occasionally amusing prose quickly has improved, as has my ability to tease out a narrative from complex events.

It’s nearly impossible to tell whether events are part of a long learning process, or we’re headed in the wrong direction. But it’s the only way to progress.

3 thoughts on “The Mess Inside A Writer’s Mind”

  1. Ideas for a story can come from pretty much anything. That empty envelope could be the basis for a very interesting story – there’s plenty of mystery to be spun from it.

    If you’re enjoying things and people seem to be enjoying what you write, I’d say you’re at least near the right path.


  2. Aloha,

    I think the road you’re travelling is obviously the right one for *you.*

    I was a beat reporter before I wrote a memoir and I’m only now getting ready to delve into fiction as an official WIP – but that’s because of all the stuff I had to do beforehand – does that make sense?

    Good luck and keep on walking 🙂


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